The Arts: ‘Water Gilding – How It Is Done’ (V&A Video)

Water gilding is a process which makes wood look like gold. Follow the stages involved in gilding a wooden frame – from brushing on layers of gesso (glue and chalk mixture), to applying and burnishing the gold leaf.

How to make a gilded frame: Glue applied to wood: 00:27​ Gesso mixed and applied in layers: 00:34​ Gesso smoothed with dried horsetail plant: 00:46​ Details cut into the base: 00:58​ Yellow ochre pigment applied: 01:07​ Bole applied: 01:20​ Surface is smoothed with a brush: 01:29​ Water is brushed on and gold leaf is applied: 01:56​ An animal tooth is used to burnish the surface: 02:15​ Frame is coated with glue for an even finish: 02:33

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